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ADVOCACY AGENDA

ADVOCACY AGENDA

    FIGHTING FOR THE NEEDS OF OLDER AMERICANS

    Meals on Wheels America is engaged in ongoing advocacy initiatives and activities aimed at helping local programs meet the needs of their communities. To that end, we work to build support on Capitol Hill and within the Administration to advance legislation and policies that strengthen home-delivered and group setting (congregate) programs, the volunteers who make them happen and the seniors they serve.

    Ultimately, we’re fighting to ensure that local communities are able to meet the needs of a growing number of older adults and provide the support that enables them to live more nourished lives with independence and dignity.

    KEY LEGISLATIVE ISSUES WE'RE FIGHTING FOR

    INCREASE FEDERAL FUNDING FOR THE OLDER AMERICANS ACT (OAA) NUTRITION PROGRAM IN FY 2022. 

    The OAA Nutrition Program includes Home-Delivered and Congregate meals and the Nutrition Services Incentive Programs (NSIP) that together exist to reduce hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition; promote socialization; and delay the onset of adverse health conditions for seniors. Federal funding for OAA programs – which, for every dollar spent, is able to secure $3 from other sources – has failed to keep pace with the demand for services that has escalated during the COVID-19 pandemic. As such, increased funding is necessary to meet the drastically increased need for nutrition services for older adults nationwide.


    IMPLEMENT THE SUPPORTING OLDER AMERICANS ACT OF 2020, THE LAW REAUTHORIZING THE OAA AS THE PRIMARY PIECE OF LEGISLATION SUPPORTING NUTRITION AND SOCIAL SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS AGE 60+ AND THEIR CAREGIVERS FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS, WITH CONSIDERATION FOR THE EVOLVING NEEDS OF SENIOR NUTRITION PROGRAMS DUE TO PANDEMIC RESPONSE AND RECOVERY.

    Our nation’s senior population is growing rapidly, leaving more seniors at risk of hunger and isolation. A strong and coordinated implementation of the OAA, as well as broad education and training of policy changes established by the new law, are essential to meeting the needs of vulnerable older adults and helping them to live independently in their homes and communities.


    STRENGTHEN OTHER FEDERAL ANTI-HUNGER NUTRITION PROGRAMS THAT PROVIDE ESSENTIAL SERVICES TO OLDER ADULTS AND THEIR FAMILIES.

    With one in seven seniors facing the threat of hunger prior to the pandemic, programs that assist older adults in receiving necessary nutrition, such as the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), should be expanded so that more older adults can participate and access these benefits to increase their financial food security.


    PROTECT AND GROW PROGRAMS AND SERVICES THAT HELP OLDER ADULTS AGE INDEPENDENTLY IN THEIR COMMUNITIES, INCLUDING THE SOCIAL SERVICES, COMMUNITY SERVICES AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT BLOCK GRANTS, AND MEDICARE AND MEDICAID HOME- AND COMMUNITY-BASED SERVICES (HCBS).

    These federal programs are critical to local Meals on Wheels providers and their ability to leverage multiple public and private funding sources, especially in response to and recovery from the COVID-19 health and economic crises, to address the unique nutritional, social, financial and health-related needs of an at-risk senior population.


    ENHANCE CHARITABLE GIVING INCENTIVES AND ASSISTANCE FOR 501(C)(3) ORGANIZATIONS UNDER THE TAX CODE.

    A true public-private partnership, Meals on Wheels programs rely on their charitable standing for both revenue from private donations as well as savings from their exempt status. Now more than ever, public and private funds are critical to help nonprofits serving as lifelines within their communities survive the economic challenges brought on by COVID-19. As federal funding provides only a portion of the full cost of vital nutrition and social supports, a tax code that protects nonprofit status, revenue through charitable giving incentives and the volunteer base is critical to the success and sustainability of the aging services network.

    FIND YOUR U.S. REPRESENTATIVES AND YOUR U.S. SENATORS

    STRENGTHEN YOUR
    ADVOCACY EFFORTS

    As a Meals on Wheels America Member, you have a range of tools and resources available to you to help engage in and strengthen your own national, state and local advocacy activities.
    JOIN TODAY

    SPEAK OUT WITH US

    There has never been a time when the need is more critical for us to tell Congress to protect and boost support to the nutrition programs that enable our senior neighbors to remain healthy and independent in their own homes. Contact your elected leaders today to share your Meals on Wheels story and encourage friends and family to do the same.
    Take Action

    HOW WE’RE TAKING ACTION EVERY DAY

    We work each day to speak out for those whose voices can be buried in large debates in Washington. Here are some of the ways we’re advocating for our programs and the seniors they serve on Capitol Hill:

    • Testifying before Congress
    • Meeting with Members of Congress and their staffs
    • Initiating Congressional letters of support for funding and policies that support Meals on Wheels programs
    • Submitting written testimony to key Congressional Committees
    • Providing oral statements at Congressional staff briefings 
    • Sending letters to Members of Congress
    • Signing onto national coalition letters
    • Engaging Members of Congress through social media
    • Assisting Members of Congress with connections to local programs to visit and/or deliver meals
    • Undertaking research to help make the case for greater investment in nutritious meals for seniors and how our network is a part of the health care solution 
    • Responding and reaching out to national press and media outlets
    • Collaborating with national organizations and coalitions to strengthen our collective efforts and voice

    THE MEALS ON WHEELS MOVEMENT STARTS WITH YOU

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